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Resistance of Prairie Junegrass and Tufted Hairgrass Germplasm to Diseases Common in Temperate Low-Input Turfgrass Systems

P. L. Koch, K. Hugie, and E. Watkins

November 2018


Prairie junegrass and tufted hairgrass are two turfgrass species that are native to the United States and require less water, fertilizer, and pesticide compared with more commonly used turfgrass species such as Kentucky bluegrass. However, little is known about the resistance of these low-input turfgrasses to common turfgrass diseases. The primary objective of this research was to identify disease-resistant germplasm of both prairie junegrass and tufted hairgrass that can be used in future low-input turfgrass breeding efforts. A total of 41 populations of tufted hairgrass and 23 populations of prairie junegrass were evaluated for resistance to Microdochium patch, dollar spot, and rust development in a controlled environment. Genetic variation in disease resistance was clearly present in the unimproved germplasm of both prairie junegrass and tufted hairgrass, providing important direction for future breeding efforts that will allow wider implementation of low-input turfgrass species.


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